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Bulgarians vote for European Parliament and future of government

Bulgarians vote for European Parliament and future of government
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The Bulgarian government is expected to face a tough test in this Sunday’s European Parliament elections with a poor result for the ruling coalition likely to reignite protests and calls by the main opposition party for an early general election.

The Socialist party (BSP) and the ethnic Turkish “Movement for Rights and Freedoms” party have been in power since May 2013. They also have the support of the far-right “Ataka” party.

“There were large protests last year and that couldn’t topple the government, not because it enjoys public support, but because it controls every institution including those that oppress the people. The European elections will be a test to see what public opinion is like and whether Bulgarians want to continue being governed in the style, in the manner, we have seen,” explained political analyst Ogynan Minchev.

The Socialist-led government, headed by Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, has been plagued by internal problems. It has already survived three confidence votes since taking office last year. Any further instability in the country could cause delays in much-needed social and economic reforms in the European Union’s poorest member state.

Bulgarians will vote for a total of 17 MEPs.

The latest polls have shown that the Socialists hold a slight lead, followed by the conservative GERB party in second.